A student can succeed working 15 hours per week. This will be successful with careful time budgeting and the selection of the correct job. The student must create a time budget and carefully allocate the hours to each activity for this to work; deviations from the budget will likely result in loss of sleep, loss of grade point average (GPA) or unsatisfactory job performance.
The student must allocate time between class participation, homework, exercise, social events and other extracurricular activities. Use of alcohol and other light drugs should be avoided, but light usage every once in a while during social activities will not unduly upset the time allocations.
The time budget consists of the following allocations: 20 hours per week attending classes; 20 hours per week doing homework and lab work; 7 hours per week exercising; and 7 hours per week socializing and doing other extracurricular activities. Note there is no time allocation for the job, that is because homework will be done while on the job. Although the times for exercising and socializing average 1 hour per day, there is no requirement that these activities need to be done on a daily basis. During exam week and at other critical times, the socializing activities can drop down significantly.
Selection of the correct job is critical for the success of the work budget. The job must allow the student to do homework while at work. The jobs best suited for the working student include receptionist, evening watchman, intern jobs for the United States Government (including the CIA and NSA), house sitting, or babysitting. The job can be worked either 3 hours per weekday or 7.5 hours on the weekends. House sitting is ideal, because it provides a free room and generates income. However, house sitting jobs will be the hardest to get.
Government intern jobs pay very well but demand a five year commitment after college which may not be appropriate for all students. Also the student must be working on a technical degree, have a clean background, and have a high GPA. Evening watchman will likely be the most available job, but typically requires 40 hours per week not 15. Students may be able to convince a potential employer to share the slot so that an entire 8 hour shift can be covered by three students. Job sharing will be successful if the student schedules do not intersect, which may be difficult.
The student also needs to eat and sleep. The time budget requires 8 hours per day for sleep and 3 hours per day for eating. The typical day for the student will be to rise at 7 AM and eat breakfast and then work on homework until the first class of the day at 10 AM. The student will eat lunch and then attend afternoon classes until 4 PM.
The student will then do homework until it is time for the job. The student should make a dinner and bring it work to eat there. While on the job the student will read and do other homework assignments until the work period has finished. The job should complete by 10 PM. The student then should walk home (getting exercise) and go to bed at 11 PM. There should be time during various parts of the day to have conversations with friends and work on hobbies such as music performance.
The schedule does not allocate time for the weekends. If the student elects to work during the weekends, then there can be more time allocated during the week for socializing and exercise.
The student should not keep an entire week of homework until getting to the job, as that will mean missing key points during the lecture period. So if reading is required for a particular class then that reading should be done before the class starts. Writing term papers and essays will be perfect for the weekend hours as that requires focused attention for several hours. The student should ensure that they will be allowed to bring a laptop computer to the job site. The schedule will allow a student to work 15 hours a week and keep a good GPA.